“WHERE TWO OR THREE ARE GATHERED IN MY NAME, THERE AM I IN THE MIDST OF THEM” (Matt 18:20)
⏰Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week of Ordinary Time 2 (12 August 2020)
📖Ezek 9:1-7, 10:18-22; Ps 113:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6 (R.v.4b); Matt 18:15-20
🎤”WHERE TWO OR THREE ARE GATHERED IN MY NAME, THERE AM I IN THE MIDST OF THEM” (Matt 18:20)
In his formation of a new community out of his disciples, Jesus gave them rules to enable them live well in that community and so enjoy the fruits of mutual love and development. Two of those rules that we considered yesterday are humility and forgiveness of one another. The third, reconciliation (cf. Matt 18:15-20) is an extension of the second.
The goal of forgiveness of the sins of others is for reconciliation and community building. Reconciliation brings about unity and unity leads to agreement; whatever is asked of out of agreement shall be fulfilled in heaven (cf. Matt 18:19-20).
Note some of the particulars of that reconciliation that Jesus proposed. All point to brotherly correction. When your brother offends you, don’t go about broadcasting it, as that may tarnish his image. Rather go and talk to him in private. If he refuses to listen, take two witnesses and go again, to fulfill the law (Matt 18:16; cf. Deut 19:15). Even after fulfilling this law and the brother refuses to listen, he is not yet to be ostracized but be reported to the Church, which is the symbol of unity.
All these efforts to effect this reconciliation reflect God’s effort in reconciling us back to himself. His interest is not in our destruction but in having us repent and enjoy life in and through him. That is the message the prophet Ezekiel passes through his vision of the remnant of Israel who were spared for their faithfulness.
Is there anyone you have tied down and refused to forgive? Remember that you can only be forgiven if you forgive (cf. Matt 6:12, 14-15) and your offerings can only be accepted when you have forgiven (cf. Matt 5:23-24). Forgiveness must replace our thirst for revenge.
May God give us the grace to forgive always and the disposition to be forgiven. Amen.
Have a lovely day ahead. Peace be with you.